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From Jan Lehnardt <>
Subject [QUESTION] Importing a project from GitHub
Date Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:13:29 GMT
Dear Incubator,

(if this isn’t the right list to ask this, please direct be to the correct place).

The CouchDB community was approached by the lead developer of
to have the project become apart of Apache CouchDB. The community has voiced some interest
in pursuing this. There has not been a vote on this yet, though, this is just to clear any
preliminary concerns.

Is there a precedent for importing GitHub projects to the ASF?

In particular, how do we handle the GitHub-usual main-dev-team + lots of drive-by-contrbutors
without a clear copyright assignment step in place?

While the lead developer and copyright holder as per the projects has made the most
significant contributions (412 commits / 41,036++ / 39,540--), some of the other contributors
have not-insignificant (double negative alert!) contributions (17 commits / 613++ / 53--,
e.g., see for details).

As per ASF requirements, is the lead developer in a position to donate the project as a whole
to the ASF?

Which, if any, of the other contributors will have to co-sign the donation? Or put their contributions
under an ICLA of their own? Or what other things need to be done?

FWIW, the second most prolific contributor expressed interest in moving to the ASF with the
project, all legalities covered. The rest are pretty much inactive at this point, or have
only made insignificant contributions, that were clearly meant to be included in the main

* * *

My understanding is that getting the main contributors / active maintainers to do a software
grant and/or ICLA will do the trick, as minor contributions that were meant to be included
in the project (as per regular ASF contributions guidelines), don’t need the legal red tape.

That said, where do we make the cut off for significant contributions? In the given project,
my gut feeling says contributors #1 and #2 (
will cover what we need, but I’d like to get confirmation on this before proceeding.

Assume all the other bits (license, dependencies, community vote) would be sorted.

Does the above sound reasonable or am I way off on any point?

Thank you for your advice!

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